Con­vict­ed felon Mar­tin Shkre­li has fi­nal­ly talked his way be­hind bars

Mar­tin Shkre­li has fi­nal­ly talked his way in­to a fed­er­al jail.

The judge in Shkre­li’s felony fraud case has or­dered the phar­ma bro to jail, act­ing on a re­quest from pros­e­cu­tors af­ter Shkre­li of­fered a $5,000 boun­ty on a lock of Hillary Clin­ton’s hair, which they said rep­re­sents a se­ri­ous threat that re­quires the judge to re­voke his bail and lock him up now.

Shkre­li, who has brand­ed him­self one of so­cial me­dia’s most no­to­ri­ous trolls, was con­vict­ed on three felony fraud counts — while he was ex­on­er­at­ed on the most dam­ag­ing charges. In the end, he now faces up to 20 years for ly­ing to in­vestors in his hedge funds, though he lat­er made up for their loss­es.

He may nev­er have been charged, though, with­out at­tract­ing ex­tra­or­di­nary no­to­ri­ety for hik­ing the price of Dara­prim by 5000% and then taunt­ing his crit­ics re­lent­less­ly on­line. All of that is com­plete­ly le­gal.

True to form, Shkre­li had ini­tial­ly de­fied the gov­ern­ment for the lat­est set of ac­cu­sa­tions, then chaste­ly apol­o­gized to the judge for his ac­tion, say­ing he was non­vi­o­lent and nev­er in­tend­ed any­one harm.

For Shkre­li, though, the apol­o­gy looked more like a ruse for the boy­ish biotech ex­ec who de­light­ed in cry­ing wolf. And now he’ll be locked up un­til the judge – who clear­ly isn’t amused – de­cides on his felony sen­tenc­ing.

“That is a so­lic­i­ta­tion to as­sault in ex­change for mon­ey that is not pro­tect­ed by the First Amend­ment,” said Judge Kiyo A. Mat­sumo­to, ac­cord­ing to a re­port in The New York Times. Par­tic­u­lar­ly damn­ing was this post in clas­sic Shkre­li scorn af­ter he claimed to be push­ing satire:

“$5,000 but the hair has to in­clude a fol­li­cle. Do not as­sault any­one for any rea­son ever (LOLIB­ER­ALS).”

“One on­go­ing con­cern of mine is that he has been tout­ed as a bril­liant young man, the mind of his gen­er­a­tion, yet he lacks the abil­i­ty to un­der­stand what’s ap­pro­pri­ate,” Mat­sumo­to said of Shkre­li, ac­cord­ing to the New York Post.

It doesn’t bode well. For now, it looks like Shkre­li will be cool­ing his heels and eat­ing jail meals for the next few months. No more so­cial me­dia.


Mar­tin Shkre­li, for­mer chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of Tur­ing Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, cen­ter left, speaks to mem­bers of the me­dia with his at­tor­ney Ben­jamin Braf­man, cen­ter right, out­side fed­er­al court on Fri­day, Au­gust 4, 2017. Shkre­li, no­to­ri­ous for rais­ing the price of a po­ten­tial­ly life-sav­ing drug by 5,000 per­cent, was found guilty of de­fraud­ing in­vestors in two hedge funds and in Retrophin, a phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­ny he co-found­ed. Shkre­li was con­vict­ed of three of eight charges, in­clud­ing se­cu­ri­ties fraud. Pho­tog­ra­ph­er: Pe­ter Fo­ley, Bloomberg, Get­ty

De­vel­op­ment of the Next Gen­er­a­tion NKG2D CAR T-cell Man­u­fac­tur­ing Process

Celyad’s view on developing and delivering a CAR T-cell therapy with multi-tumor specificity combined with cell manufacturing success
Transitioning potential therapeutic assets from academia into the commercial environment is an exercise that is largely underappreciated by stakeholders, except for drug developers themselves. The promise of preclinical or early clinical results drives enthusiasm, but the pragmatic delivery of a therapy outside of small, local testing is most often a major challenge for drug developers especially, including among other things, the manufacturing challenges that surround the production of just-in-time and personalized autologous cell therapy products.

Paul Hudson, Getty Images

UP­DAT­ED: Sanofi CEO Hud­son lays out new R&D fo­cus — chop­ping di­a­betes, car­dio and slash­ing $2B-plus costs in sur­gi­cal dis­sec­tion

Earlier on Monday, new Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson baited the hook on his upcoming strategy presentation Tuesday with a tell-tale deal to buy Synthorx for $2.5 billion. That fits squarely with hints that he’s pointing the company to a bigger future in oncology, which also squares with a major industry tilt.

In a big reveal later in the day, though, Hudson offered a slate of stunners on his plans to surgically dissect and reassemble the portfoloio, saying that the company is dropping cardio and diabetes research — which covers two of its biggest franchise arenas. Sanofi missed the boat on developing new diabetes drugs, and now it’s pulling out entirely. As part of the pullback, it’s dropping efpeglenatide, their once-weekly GLP-1 injection for diabetes.

“To be out of cardiovascular and diabetes is not easy for a company like ours with an incredibly proud history,” Hudson said on a call with reporters, according to the Wall Street Journal. “As tough a choice as that is, we’re making that choice.”

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Paul Hudson, Sanofi

Paul Hud­son promis­es a bright new fu­ture at Sanofi, kick­ing loose me-too drugs and fo­cus­ing on land­mark ad­vances. But can he de­liv­er?

Paul Hudson was on a mission Tuesday morning as he stood up to address Sanofi’s new R&D and business strategy.

Still fresh into the job, the new CEO set out to convince his audience — including the legions of nervous staffers inevitably devoting much of their day to listening in — that the pharma giant is shedding the layers of bureaucracy that had held them back from making progress in the past, dropping the duds in the pipeline and reprioritizing a more narrow set of experimental drugs that were promised as first-in-class or best-in-class.  The company, he added, is now positioned to “go after other opportunities” that could offer a transformational approach to treating its core diseases.

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Roger Perlmutter, Merck

#ASH19: Here’s why Mer­ck is pay­ing $2.7B to­day to grab Ar­Qule and its next-gen BTK drug, lin­ing up Eli Lil­ly ri­val­ry

Just a few months after making a splash at the European Hematology Association scientific confab with an early snapshot of positive data for their BTK inhibitor ARQ 531, ArQule has won a $2.7 billion buyout deal from Merck.

Merck is scooping up a next-gen BTK drug — which is making a splash at ASH today — from ArQule in an M&A pact set at $20 a share $ARQL. That’s more than twice Friday’s $9.66 close. And Merck R&D chief Roger Perlmutter heralded a deal that nets “multiple clinical-stage oral kinase inhibitors.”

This is the second biotech buyout pact today, marking a brisk tempo of M&A deals in the lead-up to the big JP Morgan gathering in mid-January. It’s no surprise the acquisitions are both for cancer drugs, where Sanofi will try to make its mark while Merck beefs up a stellar oncology franchise. And bolt-ons are all the rage at the major pharma players, which you could also see in Novartis’ recent $9.7 billion MedCo buyout.

ArQule — which comes out on top after their original lead drug foundered in Phase III — highlighted early data on ‘531 at EHA from a group of 6 chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients who got the 65 mg dose. Four of them experienced a partial response — a big advance for a company that failed with earlier attempts.

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Am­gen puts its foot down in shiny new South San Fran­cis­co hub as it re­or­ga­nizes R&D ops

Amgen has signed up to be AbbVie’s neighbor in South San Francisco as it moves into a nine-story R&D facility in the booming biotech hub.

The arrangement gives Amgen 240,000 square feet of space on the Gateway of Pacific Campus, just a few minutes drive from its current digs at Oyster Point. The new hub will open in 2022 and house the big biotech’s Bay Area employees working on cardiometabolic, inflammation and oncology research.

Ab­b­Vie, Scripps ex­pand part­ner­ship, for­ti­fy fo­cus on can­cer drugs

Scripps and AbbVie go way back. Research conducted in the lab of Scripps scientist Richard Lerner led to the discovery of Humira. The antibody, approved by the FDA in 2002 and sold by AbbVie, went on to become the world’s bestselling treatment. In 2018, the drugmaker and the non-profit organization signed a pact focused on developing cancer treatments — and now, the scope of that partnership has broadened to encompass a range of diseases, including immunological and neurological conditions.

South Ko­rea jails 3 Sam­sung ex­ecs for de­stroy­ing ev­i­dence in Bi­o­Log­ics probe

Three Samsung executives in Korea are going to jail.

The convictions came in what prosecutors had billed as “biggest crime of evidence destruction in the history of South Korea”: a case of alleged corporate intrigue that was thrown open when investigators found what was hidden beneath the floor of a Samsung BioLogics plant. Eight employees in total were found guilty of evidence tampering and the three executives were each sentenced to up to two years in prison.

Nick Plugis, Avak Kahvejian, Cristina Rondinone, Milind Kamkolkar and Chad Nusbaum. (Cellarity)

Cel­lar­i­ty, Flag­ship's $50M bet on net­work bi­ol­o­gy, mar­ries ma­chine learn­ing and sin­gle-cell tech for drug dis­cov­ery

Cellarity started with a simple — but far from easy — idea that Avak Kahvejian and his team were floating around at Flagship Pioneering: to digitally encode a cell.

As he and his senior associate Nick Plugis dug deeper into the concept, they found that most of the models others have developed take a bottom-up approach, where they assemble the molecules inside cells and the connections between them from scratch. What if they opt for a top-down approach, aided by single-cell transcriptomics and machine learning, to gauge the behavior of the entire cellular network?

Left top to right: Mark Timney, Alex Denner, Vas Narasimhan. (The Medicines Company, Getty, AP/Endpoints News)

In a play-by-play of the $9.7B Med­Co buy­out, No­var­tis ad­mits it over­paid while of­fer­ing a huge wind­fall to ex­ecs

A month into his tenure at The Medicines Company, new CEO Mark Timney reached out to then-Novartis pharma chief Paul Hudson: Any interest in a partnership?

No, Hudson told him. Not now, at least.

Ten months later, Hudson had left to run Sanofi and Novartis CEO Vas Narasimhan was paying $9.7 billion for the one-drug biotech – the largest in the string of acquisitions Narasimhan has signed since his 2017 appointment.

The deal was the product of an activist investor and his controversial partner working through nearly a year of cat-and-mouse negotiations to secure a deal with Big Pharma’s most expansionist executive. It represented a huge bet in a cardiovascular field that already saw two major busts in recent years and brought massive returns for two of the industry’s most eye-raising names.

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